Bigger biscuit

Lauren chooses her roll.

Lauren chooses her roll.

When given the choice, we will choose the bigger biscuit.

Tonight, made-from-scratch crescent rolls lay tantalizingly on the table while we thanked God for our food. After rushed prayers from the kids, I served it up, careful to save the biggest roll for myself as I filled everyone else’s plate.

Later when Jackson and Lauren had eaten the bare minimum noodles to get another crescent, I looked over what was left and reached to give them each another small roll. Suddenly I felt guilty, knowing that I had been staking out the most plump ones for myself instead of sharing the best with them.

So, instead, I offered the whole plate to my three-year-old first, allowing her to choose which she wanted.

Sure enough, she chose the largest crescent.

Jackson was next, and he followed suit, studying the plate until he was sure he was picking the best of the bunch.

It is so much easier to take the biggest and best for ourselves, rather than offering it to someone else. Our human tendency is to place ourselves first, and others next if we are satisfied and leftovers are still available.

That’s why God’s call to love Him with abandon and to love others as ourselves grates on our agendas. God’s way requires us to submit our way to Him. He asks us to give sacrificially, to forgive regardless of it being requested, to set aside our preferences, and to follow God wherever and however He leads. Jesus didn’t demand earthly glory, possessions and position that would reflect His rightful stature as King of Kings. He humbled Himself and was obedient, even to death on a cross. He gave me, He gave you, His very best. He kept none for Himself.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

– Ephesians 2:20

Jesus lives in me. It is only through His transforming power that my selfishness can be replaced with humility. When my heart becomes His heart, my desire will be to show God’s love to others, no matter the cost, or the size of the crescent roll.

Time out

Jackson has recently been spending some quality time in “time out” each day. This morning, he found himself there once again. However, on this occasion, he was not alone.

Lauren decided to join him.

She wasn’t there to pester him (which has been known to happen) or there to try to play with him because she didn’t understand why he was there. She sat beside him, patiently and quietly waiting until his punishment had ended.

This is not a photo of the kids in time out, though I wanted to take one to show Lauren sitting with Jackson. It just didn't seem right to take a picture of Jackson getting in trouble. So, here's the duo playing happily together!

This sweet act by my precious girl made me think of and thank my Heavenly Father. Even though Jesus paid the penalty for all the sins that ever were, are and will be by sacrificing His life on the cross, so many still see God as only a sin-punisher, rather than a grace-giver. Even as Christians we sometimes place our sin above God, allowing our shame to trump His forgiveness. We are children that run away and hide when we’ve done something wrong, no different from the first man and woman who God created.

When our sin is exposed, and we come to God’s feet and ask for restoration, we still deserve discipline and punishment. There are always consequences to sin, whether you are living as a part of Christ’s family, or you have not yet embraced Him as your Savior.

Yet, as I watched Lauren sitting there, sharing in Jackson’s time out, I realized that when I am experiencing the results of my decisions, bearing the consequences of my sin and am under God’s discipline, I am not alone. Even though my suffering is a result of my sin against God Himself, God chooses to stay by my side through the punishment, sharing it with me. God promised me that He would never leave me. He will never turn His back on me. I am His, and He is mine. That means where I go, He goes too.

Even to the corner for “time out”.